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New article by Prof. Guimond and graduate student

In a fundamental paper published in the Journal of Fluid Mechanics, Dr. Steve Guimond and his student Sydney Sroka (MIT, Department of Mechanical Engineering) show, for the first time, that kinetic energy in the hurricane boundary layer can move upscale (small scales to large scales) in an organized pattern. In the atmosphere and other fluids, kinetic energy is thought to move entirely downscale (large scales to small scales) and nearly all turbulence parameterizations used in weather and climate models are based on this idea. Calculations of energy transfer using turbulence-resolving airborne radar data in an intense hurricane show that purely dissipative turbulence schemes are missing large regions of upscale energy transfer, which can affect the excitation of modes at larger scales and ultimately feed back onto the larger-scale vortex. These results have potentially large implications for the understanding and modeling of extreme weather.

Sroka, S., & Guimond, S. (2021). Organized kinetic energy backscatter in the hurricane boundary layer from radar measurements. Journal of Fluid Mechanics, 924, A21. doi:10.1017/jfm.2021.632


Posted: August 17, 2021, 8:58 PM